Wastewater treatment plants



The idea from the simplicity of wastewater treatment…

20 years ago three members of the small company »Abwassertechnik Baumann« (Baumann Wastewater Engineering), all of them members of the Baumann family, were deliberating how they could make the lives of installation partners and of operators of small wastewater treatment plants easier, both economically and technically. Rapidly, the idea of developing a sewage treatment plant, that can be installed without excessive investment as a retrofit unit both in old and also in new multichamber applications, was born. And: the cost/performance ratio had to be attractive.

With the help of specialists and engineers as well as with some borrowed funds Markus Baumann and his father, Dipl.-Ing. Dagobert Baumann, developed the concept for a new generation of wastewater treatment plants. The basis for this was provided by a technology, which had already achieved outstanding results in large scale wastewater treatment operations and which was able to balance out heavy variations in loading: the SBR process. 

The first prototype was created in the basement of the Baumann private residence…
The first units were assembled and tested in the garden pond, rebuilt and tested… and one day, after many long nights and weekends in the basement, the AQUAmax® was finally finished. Now it was possible to retrofit antiquated wastewater treatment plants with a modern system without extensive excavation work and to install new wastewater treatment plants without great expenditure. 


Pioneer work…
As the SBR technology, which was used in the AQUAmax® plant, was not yet described in any valid DIN standard specification, the Baumann's in collaboration with the RWTH (Rhine-Westphalian Technical University) in Aachen, had to do pioneer work. The AQUAmax® has been tested thoroughly until it was finally granted: The German “National General Technical Approval” No. Z-55.3-53 in accordance with DIN 4261. The path towards one of the most fascinating success stories in the company was underway.

The  AQUAmax® SBR wastewater treatment plant system from ATB – today one of the most modern and innovative technologies of our time. Always one step ahead…  

What at that time caused incredible interest and great scepticism in the company, is today across the whole of Europe an established product with over 100,000 units sold, unchallenged market leader in Germany. A wastewater treatment plant market without it can no longer be imagined. From a single product, a complete system of small wastewater treatment plants, which covers a large scope of demands, from 1 person (for remote houses) up to 5420 people (for the catering trade, hotels and commercial applications as well as for housing developments and small villages). The AQUAmax® system started as a revolutionary product. AQUAmax® BASIC, today called Ecomax in the North American market and Ecomax in the European market, is another revolutionary product. It was developed without a second pump with the same efficiency, and is therefore able to eliminate unnecessary vulnerable electrical components. In addition, with the AQUAmax® system, all plants can even be retrofitted through updates – for denitrification and disinfection of wastewater. And the development goes on: together with well-known institutes and universities we are working continuously on new ideas for wastewater treatment plants, solutions and technologies to optimise today’s treatment of wastewater, to make it even more efficient... and to continue to be one step ahead of the innumerable  AQUAmax® copies. 

AQUAmax® service means 100 % security for plant installers and operators!
 Without any doubt that the Customer service plays a large role with this range of products. Therefore, a team of highly qualified and experienced professionals ensures a 24/7a sophisticated and reliable service to our installation partners and plant operators. The ATB emergency service, dispatch of spare parts within 24 hours, the free hotline service, monthly installation and maintenance seminars and a great deal more round off the Ecomax and AQUAmax® 
concept and complete the ATB philosophy. This continues today, to make the lives of installation partners and operators of small wastewater treatment plants as simple as possible, both economically and technically.   

Foundations success: innovation and quality

Through this target, enormous courage, visionary thinking, a large amount of innovative strength and guaranteeing highest quality, in the shortest time one of the most renowned companies in the branch with a team of about 100 employees has resulted from a small family operation: ATB Water GmbH.   

With this enormous engagement in the business of wastewater treatment technology it is no surprise that such an overwhelming success has met with a wide response from the public. Thus, over recent years, ATB has received the following awards and prizes: “Environment Prize of the German Federal State of Mecklenburg Vorpommern” (1999), “Austrian Environment Prize for Innovation” (2001); “Founder Champion of the German Federal State of Nordrhein Westfalen (NRW)” (2002), “Innovation Prize Market Vision OWL” (2003), “Potential Innovation 2004” of the Financial Times Germany, “Finalist Entrepreneur of the Year” (2004 + 2005), “Finalist Grand Prize of Small and Medium-sized Firms” 2005, Innovation Quality Mark "TOP 100" 2006...


Our latest development, Ecomax®, once again sets milestones in the global small wastewater plant sector. With very low power consumption and totally without troublesome solenoid valves, Ecomax® is another big step in the improvement of small wastewater treatment plants. In May 2014 the Ecomax® was the winner of the GreenTec Awards category "Water & wastewater", Europe's biggest environmental and economic prize.

Environmental Prize 1999

In September 1999 ATB received the Environmental Prize of the German Federal State of Mecklenburg Vorpommern for the small wastewater treatment plant AQUAmax®.

Environmental Prize 2001 in Austria

The AQUAmax® won the Environmental Prize of the Austrian industry for the sector “Ecodesign and product innovation”.

In 2001 ATB was honoured as participant of the ÖKOPROFIT project

ÖKOPROFIT is an environmental management system, which is carried out in some regions in collaboration with regional authorities and external consultants. With ATB, for example, one noted resource-friendly handling of raw materials and energy.

ATB honoured as Founder Champion 2002 in the NRW

In May, Markus Baumann, managing partner and founder of the ATB, received the award as Founder Champion 2002 for the German Federal State of Nordrhein-Westfalen. 

ATB awarded the Innovation Prize

In 2003 ATB received ” the ‘Market Visions OWL” innovation prize for the AQUAmax® unit assembly system.

AQUAmax® as first small wastewater treatment plant in Germany with the Approval for Nitrification

The AQUAmax® has been certified as the small wastewater treatment plant in Germany for the category “Nitrification”. This means that the AQUAmax® also degrades ammonium very well. Thus ATB has demonstrated that small wastewater treatment plants can do much more than just “basic treatment". 

Award of “potential Innovation”

The Financial Times and IHK count ATB among the 10 most innovative companies in Germany and thus made the award in 2004.

Finalist Entrepreneur of the Year 2004

ATB was designated as finalist in the company competition in 2004. With this Ernst & Young, the Accountant firm. honours the outstanding business performance of ATB. 

AQUAmax® inventor ATB Umwelttechnologien GmbH honoured by ex-Minister-President Lothar Späth for outstanding innovative performance

ATB Water GmbH received the Quality Seal Top 100 for its outstanding innovative performance in 2006. The seal was awarded at a festive event at the top of the highest mountain in Germany, the Zugspitz, by mentor and ex Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg, Lothar Späth.

Businessman of the Year 2005:

With the 2005 nomination as finalist in the “Industry” category, Ernst & Young acknowledged the business performance of Markus Baumann for the German company performance for the second time. The businessman’s prize was awarded in the Alten Oper (Old Opera) in Frankfurt..   More... 

ATB Water with the award “Grand Prix of the small and medium-sized businesses”:

Over 2,500 companies from all over the whole of the Federal Republic of Germany were nominated, but only 50 of these have made it. : They were are the finalists for the much sought after German Economics Prize “Grand Prix of small and medium-sized businesses”, the so- called “Blue Chips”, the top companies in the country. Amongst these, was ATB Water GmbH. The main awards took place on in September, 2005 with celebrations at the Maritim Hotel in Cologne.   More...

Domestic wastewater treatment Ecomax® was the winner of the GreenTec Awards 2014

ATB's small wastewater treatment plant Ecomax® is the winner of one of the GreenTec Awards, Europe's biggest environmental and economic prize! The GreenTec Awards are given in nine categories for innovative projects and products based on green technology. The ceremony took place on 4th May 2014 at the ICM in Munich with about 1,000 invited guests, including many well-known personalities of business, politics and entertainment.